Saturday, 30 May 2015

Recipe: Jam and Coconut Loaf

Last weekend I was abandoned for the last day of the football season and bored in the house. I haven't baked in months and stared at my Kitchenmaid looking all sorry for itself. I wanted something quick and simple to bake. After scouring my many cookbooks, I came across Nadia Sawalha's Fabulous Family Food and saw this simple recipe. It came out brilliantly!

For the cake:
175g self raising flour, sifted
175g baking spread
175g caster sugar
3 free-range eggs, whisked
50g desiccated coconut
1 tbsp lemon flavouring
1 tbsp vanilla flavouring
1 tsp baking powder

For the topping:
4-6 tbsp strawberry jam
2 tbsp desiccated coconut

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4.

2. Line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment and grease with some butter.

3. Put all the cake ingredients in a mixing bowl, whisk until you have a smooth mixture. Pour it into the loaf tin.

4. Bake for 45-50 minutes. I popped some tin foil on it after 10 minutes to stop it from burning. The woes of having a fan oven!

5. Leave to stand in the tin to cool for ten minutes. Pop on a wire rack to let it fully cool down.

6. Once cooled, spread the strawberry jam on the top and sprinkle with the coconut.

Let me know on twitter if you manage to make it - I'd love to see a picture!

Thursday, 28 May 2015

OOTD: Yellow sun dress

Yellow cotton sundress: c/o M&S
White chunky heeled sandals: c/o M&S

I was asked by M&S to style an outfit suitable for a special summer event. They have a cracking Ultimate Dress Guide - there's something to flatter every shape! I chose to dress for a garden party - we all have a lot of these coming up over the next few months. BBQ season is certainly a perk of the summer! Smart Casual. The oxymoron that strikes fear into anyone - what the hell does it mean anyway?! I think I've found the perfect combination if you need to look like you've effortlessly made an effort.

The gorgeous lime green dress immediately called my name as soon as I spotted it on the page. The netting underneath gives it a little oomph and keeps it from looking too casual. The cotton material will help keep the dress feeling light. A 50s style silhouette is always a winner in my book whatever the occasion! A slick of red lipstick instantly makes your outfit a game changer.

I chose the white chunky heels because I thought they were perfect for standing on your feet all day. There's nothing worse than frantically looking around trying to nab an elusive chair because your feet are in agony. The heel is just the right height to stand and chat to guests - they help to pack a statement and make your dress look a little bit more fancier. The gemstones help make them exciting and keep to the dreaded smart causal dress code like a pro.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

OOTD: Floral Midi Dress

Floral scuba material midi dress: ASOS (Similar)
Black and gold clutch: Zara (Similar)
Black faux snakeskin court shoes: Next (Similar)
Red lipstick: c/o Elizabeth Arden Red Door Red
Red nails: c/o Bourjous 5 Are You Reddy

I had this dress in my saved items on ASOS for weeks upon weeks. The £60 price tag was just a little too much for me to ever justify when things like a house and a holiday come into the equation. During my daily browse on ASOS I always kept my fingers crossed it would be reduced. One day they answered my prayers and it swiftly become mine at a bargain price of £36. That should be a lesson to always keep things in your saved basket and check online daily. Eventually you'll be able to splash out!

Shamefully after owning it for a month I only just got around to wearing it last weekend. I've been stuck in a bit of a stye rut recently. The weather has completely thrown me and I've not really been sure what to wear. Not to mention I've been overindulging a lot recently and been feeling a lot more heavier. I've been living in jeans and feel like I've lost my midi skirt mojo. These last two outfits have reminded me exactly why I love the midi length/ retro look so much and I've felt much more like myself. It's true that you feel a lot more ready to take on the world if you're wearing something you love!